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Text Study for the Second Sunday in Lent Year C

Text Study for the Second Sunday in Lent Year C

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Published by Joseph Winston
Commentary
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
God has called Abram to be a father of a great nation but Abram bluntly reminds God that Abram is childless. The Lord take Abram outside at night and shows him the stars and God promises that Abram’s children will as numerous as the stars. Then God and Abram “cut a covenant” as indicated by the sacrifices, which renewed the promise of Abram’s children and also outlined the boundary of his children’s inheritance. Genesis 15:1 in a vision – This encounter with the
Commentary
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
God has called Abram to be a father of a great nation but Abram bluntly reminds God that Abram is childless. The Lord take Abram outside at night and shows him the stars and God promises that Abram’s children will as numerous as the stars. Then God and Abram “cut a covenant” as indicated by the sacrifices, which renewed the promise of Abram’s children and also outlined the boundary of his children’s inheritance. Genesis 15:1 in a vision – This encounter with the

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Published by: Joseph Winston on Feb 28, 2010
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02/27/2010

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Commentary
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
God has called Abram to be a father of a great nation but Abram bluntly remindsGod that Abram is childless. The Lord take Abram outside at night and showshim the stars and God promises that Abram’s children will as numerous as thestars. Then God and Abram “cut a covenant” as indicated by the sacrifices, whichrenewed the promise of Abram’s children and also outlined the boundary of hischildren’s inheritance.Genesis 15:1
in a vision
– This encounter with the L
ORD
has its own unique setof attributes that set it apart from day to day life.
 Do not be afraid 
– This appearance, technically known as a theophany, be-gins with words designed to calm.
 your reward shall be very great 
– For a portion of this man’s family, theyare blessed. Hagar and her child would think otherwise.Genesis 15:2
what will you give me
– What advantage is it to follow this one overall other gods if there is not a benefit in this day and age? In other words,what if this god is powerless to keep His Word? More importantly, whathappens if this god is nothing more than a liar?Genesis 15:3
You have given me no offspring
– The assumed line of successionmust come from Sarah and not her slave.Genesis 15:4
This man shall not be your heir 
– A line has been drawn in thesand. Ishmael will not receive the lion’s share of the inheritance from hisfather Abram.Genesis 15:5
count the stars
– To drive the point home, a part of the vision isAbram looking up and attempting to enumerate the lights in the sky.
So shall your descendants be
– The assumption here is that Abram’s chil-dren will be impossible to count.Genesis 15:6
the
L
ORD
reckoned it to him as righteousness
– Possibly a bettertranslation of “righteousness” that captures the Hebrew would be to capturea sense of justice would be something like, “the L
ORD
thought it was fair.”1
 
Genesis 15:7
I am the
L
ORD
– There is an echo of the Name of the One whoMoses will meet later.Genesis 15:8
how am I to know that I shall possess it?
– This question answeredby the L
ORD
is
not
regarded as “testing.”Genesis 15:9
Bring me
– It appears that the vision of the L
ORD
has moved into“reality” since the L
ORD
has now asked for three animals.Genesis 15:10
He brought him all
– Abram followed the L
ORD
’s command.Genesis 15:11
And when birds of prey came
– It takes some time for the L
ORD
to arrive.Genesis 15:12
a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him
– The se-quence has changed from a vision, something that appears to be real, andnow we are back to what seems to be a dream sequence....Genesis 15:17
a smoking fire-pot and a flaming torch passed 
– Sometime later,these items appear.Genesis 15:18
On that day the
L
ORD
made a covenant with Abram
– Some part,possible all of this event is a legal binding document.
Psalm 27
The psalmist states that he is afraid of nothing because the Lord protects him. Godwill trip up evildoer. The only request of the psalmist is to live in the Lord’s houseand to have the Lord protect him. The psalmist reminds God that he seeks God andfor God to remember this basic fact. Even if his parent leave him, he will neverabandon God. God provides instruction and God is once again asked for help.Psalm 27:1
The
L
ORD
is my light and my salvation
– Two attributes given tothe L
ORD
are the ability to illuminate the reason for life and to help thosepeople in need.
whom shall I fear?
– This rhetorical question reminds the audience that therestofcreationhasnothingwhichcanstanduptothe L
ORD
scharacteristicsof light and salvation.2
 
The
L
ORD
is the stronghold of my life
– The rock that will not move is theL
ORD
.Psalm 27:2
When evildoers assail me
– It is not a question of if evil will happenbut when.
they shall stumble and fall.
– They cannot walk because they do not see theway of light.Psalm 27:3
Though an army encamp against me
– The L
ORD
’s power is greaterthan any assembly of men.Psalm 27:4
to live in the house of the
L
ORD
all the days of my life
– The onerequest spoken by the author is to be with the L
ORD
his entire life. On onelevel, this is a request that the L
ORD
hold him faithful. On another level, thepsalmist would like to be in the Holy Temple of the L
ORD
in Jerusalem. Hecan only dwell in the outer courts and never go in to the holy places sincehe is not the high priest.
to behold the beauty of the
L
ORD
– The superabundance of the L
ORD
isseen in a place that appeals to humanity.
to inquire in his temple
– There in the L
ORD
’s house, he will ask questions.Psalm 27:5
For he will hide me in his shelter 
– The L
ORD
provides cover. Thetension that must be always raised is the reality of the people of God suf-fering. One possible explanation is that the L
ORD
is impotent. He cannothelp those in need. Another answer is that the L
ORD
lied. He never had anyintention in assisting His people. A third response might indicate the neces-sity of allowing people to suffer. A fourth way is to talk about our constantmisunderstanding of what it means to be saved by the L
ORD
.Psalm 27:6
Now my head is lifted up above my enemies all around me
– Thepsalmist is not ashamed of his actions. He praises the L
ORD
in the face of His enemies.Psalm 27:7
Hear, O
L
ORD
 , when I cry aloud, be gracious to me and answer me!
– The mass (liturgy) of the Church remember this prayer and has sung itthrough the ages.Psalm 27:8
“Come,” my heart says, “seek his face!”
– The paradox here is thatintellectually, the author knows he can never see the face of the L
ORD
andlive. Yet that is exactly what his thoughts drive him toward.3

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